Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday


I’m excited to be joining Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy in this year’s Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2014  I’m hoping to discover many new nonfiction books that I can share with my students at school and with other teachers at workshops.  Link up here to join in!

What If You Had Animal Teeth? (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)        What If You Had Animal Hair?

What if You Had Animal Teeth (or Hair) – Sandra Markle

These nonfiction books are a combination of hilarious illustrations and images of humans with animal features and interesting facts and information.  I like that there is just enough information to make it interesting but not so much that it becomes overwhelming.   They make GREAT read-alouds and have kids laughing and wanting more.  I know a book is popular with kids when after I read it and put it up on display – EVERYONE wants to take it to their desks to read again!

Bright Ideas: The Science of Light      Hot Stuff: The Science of Heat and Cold   Push and Pull: The Science of Forces

The Big Bang Science Experiments Series – Jay Hawkins

My school is in the midst of preparing for our annual school Science Fair.  Students are always coming to the library looking for books about Science experiments.   This is a great series to have on hand – the simple and effective experiments are clearly explained and the photographs of young kids conducting the experiments make them very engaging.

Peter Kent's City Across Time

City Across Time – Peter Kent

I love books that you can sit and pour over and find new things to look at every time.  Peter Kent’s book follows a city from the Stone Age through to the 21st century.  Each double page spread shows a detailed cross section illustration of a  different time period.  The illustrations are amazing – and I can see kids spending hours looking through the pages, noticing the details and, at the same time, learning about different periods in history.  It’s a must have for a library or classroom.  A great book to choose one or two pages to project and invite students infer and compare different time periods.

The Noisy Paint Box:  The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art  – Barb Rosenstock

So much to love about this picture book biography about the life of one of the very first painters of abstract art – Vasily Kandinsky.  The illustrations by Mary Grandpre (love her!) are extraordinary.  I was fascinated by the story of this remarkable artist – who “heard” colors and who, as a child, struggled to paint because his paintbox was “too noisy”.  He grew, eventually, to embrace the sound of color and painted his bold ground-breaking words of art from his “noisy paint box”.   I loved the celebration of someone who clearly marched to his own drum and celebrated his unique talent in his own way.   An amazing story and I really appreciated the extensive information included at the back.


Nest – Jorey Hurley

Nest tells the life cycle of a Robin through the seasons – beginning and ending in a nest.  It is a debut picture book from this author and I am MOST impressed!  It is so simple – just one word on each page – and there is a quiet tenderness to this book.  A perfect book for introducing primary students to life cycles and changing seasons.  Gorgeous.  I will be looking out for more from this author!

The Scraps Book: Notes From a Colorful Life – Lois Ehlert

I am SOOOOO excited about this book!  If you love Lois Ehlert – this is a MUST have!  In this amazing autobiography, Lois Ehlert shares her life story, through words, scraps of paper, photographs and painted pictures.  This is a behind the scenes look into her innovative and creative books.  This book is a celebration of creativity and I was SO inspired after I read it.  I KNOW I will be reading it to my class and using it as an anchor book for Art and writing.  AMAZING!

What nonfiction books have you been reading?

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Linda Baie

    Wonderful list of books, Adrienne. I found some at my library! Thanks for telling about the Ehlert book-looks wonderful!

    1. Adrienne Gear

      Thanks, Linda! You will love the the Ehlert book! It’s amazing! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. carriegelson

    Love the look of the last two titles in particular The Ehlert book looks like I might need to own it. 🙂 Animal Hair is so adored in my room. We have a survey going about which hair each person would choose.

    1. Adrienne Gear

      What a great plan for the animal hair survey! I am definitely going to try that! (Which animal hair did you choose?) You will love Nest and The Noisy Paintbrush! Lois Ehlert – AMAZING!

  3. Debra @ A Mostly Rosy Outlook

    I haven’t yet found the Animal Teeth book yet, so now I will add the other one to my list! Thank you for listing the new Lois Ehlert book, I love her style of illustrations. And your description of The Noisy a Paintbrush makes it rise to the top of my TBR list.

    1. Adrienne Gear

      The Noisy Paintbrush is AMAZING – what a great story! I also love Lois Ehlert’s style – it’s great to have my students replicate it too! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Kristi Yorke

    Hi Adrienne, great blog and resource:) I am a TL in Burnaby and we are excited to be organizing your books into easily accessible bins for students and teachers. I bought several of your top picks for 2014 and I am having trouble organizing the non categorized ones Nest, Weeds find a way, If you lived here and Astronaut handbook. Do you have one single master list somewhere with all the books organized under categories I could refer to? we are making labels and have a very happy staff:)

    1. Adrienne Gear

      Hi Krisit – Thanks for your message. I’m happy to hear that you are supporting your staff and students with Reading Power by purchasing and organizing some new books around the strategies. This is certainly helpful for them. Nonfiction books can either be categorized around the strategy or the nonfiction writing form. Astronaut Handbook – Question and Instructional writing. Weeds Find a Way – Transform (looking at weeds in a new way). If You Lived Here – connections and Comparisons (for writing) Nest – Visualize and Infer. I don’t have one complete “master list” – but if you send me your email I am happy to send you my most recent lists.

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